Rustic Apple Walnut Tart
I won’t judge you for not baking your own homemade pies and pastries. Or for making your own, but using store-bought pie dough as a short cut. But I do want you to know that start-to-finish, from-scratch tarts are within your reach. I created this Rustic Apple Walnut Tart recipe to prove it and just in time for holiday baking.
A Free-Form Tart
Technically this is considered more galette than tart, since it’s a free-form affair inspired by a classic French pastry. But I’m calling it a tart because galette sounds too fancy, and this isn’t at all fancy.
What Makes this Tart Easy
It’s the technique that make the pastry for this tart easy to make, even for a beginner.
- You don’t need a tart pan. That means you don’t have to fuss too much about rolling out your dough “just so” to fit said tart pan.
- You make the dough entirely in a food processor with a dozen or so pulses.
- You roll it out into a 13-inch-diameter circle that doesn’t need to be remotely perfect (imperfection is welcome when it comes to free-form tarts).
- You roll the dough directly onto parchment paper, where it stays. That means you don’t have to transfer the dough once you’ve rolled it out. No wrangling sticky pastry into a pan or onto a baking sheet.
As for the apples, those are easy, too, since there’s no peeling necessary. This is rustic baking, not fine French patisserie. And the peels make it pretty to look at if you ask me.
A Little More Wholesome
The other upside to leaving on the apple peels is it makes a more wholesome, fiber-full tart (along with the whole-wheat flour in the recipe). Walnuts also add nourishment, fiber, healthy fats, crunch and fabulous flavor. But feel free to leave them out if you’ve got a nut allergy or nut phobic in your midst, or if you want your tart a little lighter in calories, since nuts aren’t.
What to serve with Rustic Apple Walnut Tart
Any classic accompaniment to apple pie or crisp will work with this tart. If ice cream is your thing, a scoop of vanilla or salted caramel over a warm wedge is delicious. I also like a pillowy spoonful of Crème Fraîche Whipped Cream. And if there’s leftover tart at breakfast, a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt does the trick.
For more easy desserts, you might like:
Apple Crumble Cake by Pamela Salzman
Apple Cranberry Bread Pudding by The Gourmet RD
Rustic Apple Walnut Tart
This free-form tart is intended to show that homemade pastry is 100 percent doable, even for the novice baker. Keeping the peels on the apples, using whole-wheat flour, and adding walnuts to the recipe adds a wholesome touch to the finished tart. Feel free to leave out the walnuts if you prefer, just stir the additional sugar and cinnamon into the apples. Serve the tart with gently whipped cream or ice cream for dessert or enjoy it for breakfast with plain Greek yogurt .
- ¾ cup whole-wheat flour, spooned into the measuring cup and leveled
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour, spooned into the measuring cup and leveled
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 ounces cold salted butter, cut into 16 or so little pieces
- ¼ cup ice water
- 4 medium apples, such as pink lady or granny smith
- 6 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2/3 cup walnuts
- 1 egg white
- 2 teaspoons sugar (coarse sugar if you have it)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Prepare the dough:
Put the whole-wheat and all-purpose flours and 1 tablespoon sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Scatter butter over the flour. Pulse the food processor again and again until the ingredients form pea-sized balls. Add the water and run the food processor for several seconds until the dough comes together in a few large clumps.
Lay a 13×15-inch piece of parchment paper on your work surface. Dump the dough onto the paper and pat into a smooth ball. Press the dough into a disk, scatter flour lightly over the top, and roll it out into a circle that’s 13-inches in diameter (the width of the parchment paper). It doesn’t need to be perfect. Transfer the parchment to a baking sheet and put it in the freezer while you prep the apples and walnuts.
Make the Filling
Cut each apple off its core in 4 cuts. Cut the apple into ⅛-inch-thick slices. In a medium bowl, toss the apples slices with lemon juice, 4 tablespoons of the sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and cardamom.
Put the walnuts, 2 tablespoons sugar, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon in the food processor (no need to clean it after making the dough). Pulse into tiny pieces.
Assemble the Tart
Set the baking sheet with chilled dough on your work surface. Spread the walnut mixture in a circle over the pastry about 2 inches from the border. Arrange the apple slices over the walnuts, pouring any liquid in the bowl evenly over the top. Gently fold the edges of the dough over the apples, pleating and pinching it to stay in place. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the top of the tart with egg white. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons sugar over the egg white.
Bake until nicely browned with the apples beginning to turn tender, 45 minutes.